The Bonner Bridge, which carries N.C. 12 over Oregon Inlet between Hatteras and Bodie islands, is well past its design life and is being replaced with a new bridge that will better withstand its coastal environment. Through the use of high-durability concrete, stainless reinforcing steel and other engineering features, the new bridge is designed to have a 100-year life span and will provide more options for navigation under the bridge.
Bonner Bridge Groundbreaking
Governor Pat McCrory broke ground on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement over Oregon Inlet on March 8, 2016, marking the official beginning of construction – a long-awaited milestone for people who live, work or visit the Outer Banks from throughout North Carolina and from around the world.
The following videos, photos, news releases, fact sheets and other information are available for media use. For media inquiries, contact the N.C. Department of Transportation Communications Office at (919) 707-2660.
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Governor Pat McCrory – joined by Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson, local, state and federal government officials and hundreds of local residents – broke ground March 8, 2016, on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement. The celebration marked the official beginning of construction – a long-awaited milestone for people who live, work or visit the Outer Banks from throughout North Carolina and from around the world.
The N.C. Department of Transportation examined eight detailed study alternatives within two corridors before selecting in 2010 a preferred alternative that is detailed in the Record of Decision.
The selected alternative breaks the project into phases:
- Phase I, which includes building the new bridge just west of where the Bonner Bridge currently stands
- Phase II, which includes implementing permanent solutions for the two breaches caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011
The exact plan for implementing future phases will be determined, based on NCDOT's active coastal monitoring program, which helps determine where and when to make improvements to N.C. 12 from the south end of the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe.
Any of the alternatives (beach nourishment, road relocation and bridging) previously studied as part of the original environmental analysis could be considered for future phases.
NCDOT first began the process of investing in a replacement bridge in 1989, but construction was delayed for numerous years due to legal challenges – most recently lawsuits filed in 2011 and August 2013 by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
The last of the legal challenges were resolved in August 2015, allowing NCDOT to proceed with plans to replace the Bonner Bridge.
The documents below detail specific events regarding those actions.
Click on the link below to see archived documents and maps associated with the project.
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Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.